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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 132950, 9 pages
Research Article

Optimum Tilt Angle for Photovoltaic Solar Panels in Zomba District, Malawi

1Environmental Affairs Department, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, P/Bag 394, Lilongwe, Malawi
2Department of Physics and Electronics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, P. O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi

Received 17 August 2013; Accepted 28 November 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editor: Haricharan S. Reehal

Copyright © 2014 B. Kamanga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A study to determine the optimum tilt angle for installing photovoltaic solar panels in Zomba district, Malawi, has been conducted. The study determined the optimum monthly tilt angles of PV solar panels and the seasonal adjustments needed for the panels in order to collect maximum solar radiation throughout the year. In this study, global solar radiation (GSR) on four tilted surfaces was measured. The north-facing surfaces were titled at angles of 0°, 15°, 20°, and 25°. The GSR data was used to determine the daily and monthly optimum tilt angles for the PV panels. The optimum tilt angles were found to be 0° or 25° depending on the time of the year. From October to February, the optimum tilt angle has been determined to be 0° and, from March to September, the optimum tilt angle is observed to be 25°. There are only two seasonal adjustments that are needed for PV solar panels in Zomba district and these should be carried out at the end of February and at the end of September. For fixed solar panels with no seasonal adjustments, the optimum tilt angle for the PV solar panels that are northfacing has been determined to be 25°.